EA navigations transfer subject to more talks

Goring Lock on the River Thames is managed by the EA Photo: Wikipedia/Motmit CC BY-SA 3.0 Goring Lock on the River Thames is managed by the EA Photo: Wikipedia/Motmit CC BY-SA 3.0

The Inland Waterways Association says it’s disappointed a proposal to take over Environment Agency navigations has still not been agreed and it wants negotiations to continue towards a mutually acceptable solution.

At a recent meeting, the Defra Minister with responsibility for the Waterways, Dr Thérèse Coffey, informed IWA representatives that the transfer of navigations to the Canal & River Trust was still being considered subject to further talks to refine proposals. A further meeting has since been offered.

IWA says it’s important these talks take place as soon as possible.

“With increased pressure on general EA budgets through Defra and the need to prioritise other services such as flood control, the funding for navigation seems likely to decrease and navigation assets deteriorate further,” said an IWA spokesman.

Waterways preservation

The organisation is particularly concerned that during the entire transfer debate there has been no indication from government as to how sufficient and sustainable levels of funding will be provided for EA navigations if the transfer does not progress.

IWA maintains that a transfer of EA navigations remains the best way to ensure the future of waterways with the minimum impact on the public purse.

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